November 12, 2017

55 Things you’ll actually want to do during a Social Media Detox.

Social media was meant to be a place of solace—somewhere we could go for a few minutes to unwind, connect with loved ones, laugh at ridiculously-relatable memes, and pin enticing new recipes to try.

That’s it.

So why, then, did I recently find myself dissecting a passive aggressive message intentionally left on my wall? And why did those words have the power to make me feel so insignificant?

I could’ve fired back. Maybe I would’ve even been good at it. But, what would be the point? I knew it was a waste of my energy.

I’m pretty sure when Mary Oliver asked, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” she wasn’t expecting a virtual reality where users robotically refresh their phones every five minutes and get fixated on superficial “likes.” And she certainly wasn’t talking about wasting our time or our feelings dealing with unsolicited, unhealthy drama.

She was talking about making the most of every day.

That’s not to say that social media is pointless and we should never use it again—but overload does happen and sometimes we forget how simple it is to unplug.

When we step away from our phones and computers, even for just a few days, we give ourselves a chance to get lost in the physical world around us.

By doing what, you ask? Here are a few suggestions to get us started:

1. Write a blog (and submit it to Elephant Journal, maybe?)
2. Meditate
3. Listen to music
4. Create an affirmation (I use “You are the sh*t.”)
5. Repeat it (“You are the sh*t. You are the sh*t. You are the sh*t.”)
6. Read a book while relaxing in a hammock
7. Take a nap
8. Volunteer for a cause
9. Color (inside or outside the lines—whatever makes you happy)
10. Build a puzzle
11. Bake a cake
12. Eat the cake (I didn’t even need to say that though.)
13. Call a friend or family member (Grandma misses you.)
14. Tackle a chore
15. Dance in your living room
16. Sing
17. Laugh out loud
18. Mail a handwritten card
19. Use that free yoga pass
20. Invite a friend
21. Dig out a board game
22. Spin a globe
23. Book a flight
24. Try a new restaurant
25. Order the special
26. Surprise someone
27. Surprise yourself
28. Sign up for an art class
29. Work out (just for the endorphins)
30. Make your own candle
31. Light it up
32. Draw a bubble bath
33. Make love (to someone you like, or just to yourself)
34. Search for your local farmer’s market
35. Eat something green (and red, and orange, and yellow, and purple)
36. Buy seeds to start your own garden
37. Find a community garden if you can’t keep your own alive
38. Jot down a list of life goals
39. See a play (even if you go by yourself)
40. Or try out for one
41. Try out for anything
42. Hug someone tight
43. Make a hot cup of tea
44. Get a massage
45. Give a massage (It’s only fair!)
46. Lay outside and watch the clouds
47. Compliment someone
48. Declutter your home (It’s time.)
49. Box up some stuff to donate
50. Be a tourist in your own town
51. Sit in a cafe
52. People watch
53. Sign up for a marathon (or you know, just eat more of that cake)
54. Meditate again (Ommm!)
55. Create your own list



I Quit Social Media for 30 Days & This Happened.



Author: Emily Duty
Image: @ecofolks/Instagram 
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis

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Tracey Kenard Nov 14, 2017 2:40pm

What an excellent list!!! Thank you! :-)

Linda Lewis Nov 14, 2017 1:53pm

I just returned from almost 2 weeks of a self-imposed technology-free retreat. Mind you, it was a large retreat, 750 people, in Mexico. It seemed almost everyone else had cell-phones or laptops or i-pads, but I was gloriously free to swim in the ocean between practice and teaching sessions, and not privy to world disasters until smacked w/ them upon return. The benefit of this timely detox is still w/ me, although I did have considerable email and Facebook messages to respond to upon my return. (It was also my birthday while I was gone, so there were perhaps more messages than usual.) The benefit is that I am practicing more than before, watching much less TV (I only have one channel anyway!) and am much more selective. And I am able to prepare undistractedly for various teaching gigs and translation tasks that come my way. I do believe in being connected to what is going on in the world as a global citizen, but since "news" highlights the tragedies of the day, one can at times feel overwhelmed, forgetting the vast space of silence that accommodates all human drama. Plugging into that larger natural space and silence for a significant chunk of time is so refreshing. There's still the climate crisis, the Middle East is still a disaster zone, there is still stupid racism, Trump still doesn't know the difference between reality and fiction, he and his own people are still implicated in Russian interference, 80% of Puerto Rico still doesn't have clean water or electrical power (send batteries!), and Poland and Austria are now seeing a frightening rise in White Supremacy--let the petition signing and articles in response begin again!

Emily Duty Nov 13, 2017 6:40pm

Thank you, Tamara!

Neal Doherty Nov 13, 2017 3:33pm

Everybody knows everybody else's business. No more Skeletons in the closets people, no matter how you try to hide them. Only a matter of time. And beware of certain agencies secretly monitoring. It happens.

Tamara Miles Nov 13, 2017 3:31pm

Thank you for this insightful and practical article!

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Emily Duty

Emily Duty is a creative soul, through and through. She cannot imagine a world without music or literature. Things that make her happy: family, tall tales, karaoke, and rum raisin ice cream.